Set Apart by God's Grace (Galatians 1:15–16) - Radical

Set Apart by God’s Grace (Galatians 1:15–16)

“But when He, who had set me apart before I was born and who called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son to me, in order that I might preach Him among Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone,”
-Galatians 1:15–16

And we’ll stop there. Paul, who’s writing this continues going on, but he’s talking about his life, basically his story, his testimony of God’s grace in his life personally. And I love the phrases he uses to describe what God had done to save him from his sin and himself. When it says in verse 15, “when He who had set me apart before I was born,” and this language that we see all over the Bible of God making us, forming us, fearfully and wonderfully, in His image, in our mother’s wombs far before anyone else could see us.

Galatians 1:15–16 Teaches Us that God Knows Us

God not only saw us, He knew us. And in a sense, God’s work was beginning in our lives before we were even born. And “He who called me by His grace.” What a picture of the God of the universe, calling our names by His grace. Keep in mind, we were rebelling against God, running from God, and God in His mercy took the initiative to call us by His grace. And then verse 16 says, “God was pleased to reveal His Son to me.” Isn’t that a great picture? God was pleased to reveal Jesus to Paul. God was pleased to reveal Jesus to you and to me. It pleased God to open our eyes to the beauty and the love and the truth and the grace of Jesus.

And then the last phrase that he uses, he says, “in order that,” so here’s a purpose clause. Why did God do this? Why was God pleased to reveal His son Jesus to you, Paul? “In order that I preach Him among the Gentiles,” among the nations. Do you see this? God set Paul apart before he was even born, called him by His grace, and was pleased to reveal Jesus to him so that Jesus might be proclaimed among the nations. And without question, there’s a unique calling in Paul’s life, and in a sense there’s a unique calling in all of our lives, but the basic calling by God’s grace to open our eyes to Jesus is in order that we might proclaim Him among the nations.

Galatians 1:15–16 Praises God as Creator

So I just want to encourage you to put yourself in these phrases as we pray right now. God, we praise You as our creator, as the one who fearfully and wonderfully made each one of us, in Your image and how You knew us before we were even born. You knew us before anyone else knew us. And God for all of us who are your sons and daughters who have put our faith in Jesus, we recognize that’s all by Your grace. It’s all because You called our name, because You took the initiative to save us. We praise You for being pleased to reveal Jesus to us. God, I praise You for opening my eyes and each of our eyes. We praise You for opening our eyes to His truth and His beauty and His love and His mercy, His wisdom, and His justice, to who Jesus is. Thank You for revealing Your son to us.

And we pray together that the effect of all of that might be that we would proclaim Him, preach Him, tell others about Him among the nations. God, we pray that the effect of Your grace in our lives today would be the spread of the gospel of Jesus through our lives. God, we pray that You’d call others by Your grace today through us, give us boldness to share this gospel with others, we pray.

Galatians 1:15–16 Leads Us to Pray for the Miranha People

Right around us and, God, for people around the world who have little to no knowledge of the gospel. God, for the Miranha people of Brazil, this remote tribe in the Amazon, who has little to no knowledge, likely for centuries has had no knowledge, of the name of Jesus. God, would you be pleased to reveal Your son to them? Send laborers into that region of the Amazon in Brazil, that they might have their eyes opened to the glory and the beauty of Jesus, that they might experience Your gracious calling their lives. God help us to be faithful to the purpose for which You’ve called us, to proclaim Jesus to the nations.

Oh God, it’s astounding, breathtaking, overwhelming, to think about Your grace in our lives. We praise You for setting us apart before we were born, calling us by Your grace, being pleased to reveal Your son to us in order that we might proclaim Him among the nations. We say to all of that, thank you, God. And help us to fulfill the purpose for which You’ve called us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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